Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Why Managing Your Jobs Inventory Matters

Matt Moore

If you run a hotel, retail store, or guiding company, you very likely use some sort of inventory management system to track and manage the availability of your rooms, products, and available tours. This helps your company in a number of ways. From a management and marketing perspective, inventory management technology gives you the ability to quickly see how much capacity you have sold and available and if you need to increase your marketing budget, when or if you need to order more products / raw materials, whether you currently have the staffing to support the number of tours you’ve sold, etc.. For your customers, it allows them to know (without having to contact you) what nights are available for lodging reservations, what products are in stock, what types of tours are available and at what times.

If you’re not using some sort of inventory management system, you’re likely having to field a lot of phone calls and support tickets about whether or not certain nights / products / tours are available. This creates a dual issue of 1) having to staff a reservations / orders department to answer all of those incoming and unnecessary queries and 2) frequent negative customer experiences (and lost customers) from having to take the time to contact your company only to find out the the product or service you’re advertising across the internet is not available or not in stock.

It seems like a no-brainer, and many of you have implemented online booking / e-commerce tools because it’s such an obvious solution that creates happier customers and reduces your overhead. But are you managing your jobs with similar tools and an emphasis on accuracy?

A common frustration we hear from job seekers is that online job availability is often out of date and not reflective of current hiring needs. Job seekers find a company’s job advertisement or employment page of their website, discover a position that matches their interests and skills, take the time to fill out the application, only to hear back that the position had already been filled. Just like with your customers, this creates an extremely negative experience for job seekers, and often results in losing out on a current – and potential future – candidate. It also creates extra workload for your hiring staff in fielding inquiries from prospective candidates about whether or not a position is still available and reviewing applications for positions that are closed.

A few members of the CoolWorks team recently attended the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Conference. One of the most frequently discussed topics was optimizing the applicant funnel, primarily making sure that A) the initial application process is simple, quick, and mobile-friendly (every additional click required in an application process results in a +30% drop-off in candidate completion rates) and B) that the information is timely and accurate.

The application process is a topic for another day (coming soon!), but for managing the accuracy of your jobs inventory to improve your internal processes and the experience of potential candidates, a few tools and process improvements can improve your results significantly.

First, if you’re using an Applicant Tracking System to manage your positions and process applications as you receive them, make sure your system is setup to close a position once a candidate has been hired to fill it, so that the position is no longer viewable anywhere that your jobs list is published (e.g. your employment website). (If you’re not using an ATS, we strongly recommend making the transition, even if you’re a small company).

Second, updating job advertisements to reflect current hiring needs will save your team and job seekers a lot of time and frustration. This is especially true for longer term ads that may be posted for weeks or months. Once a position has been filled, close your ads so that applicants don’t apply for positions that have been filled, and candidate interest is actively directed to those roles you do need to fill. If your company uses a CoolWorks Enhanced Employer Profile, you can easily manage the visibility of your positions through the Jobs List, which allows you to quickly toggle positions from Open to Closed as you fill them.

Managing your jobs inventory is just one of many ways that you can improve the experience for job seekers, but every minor improvement goes a long way in increasing the rate of job seekers converting to applicants and improving your reputation as a reliable and transparent employer.